Stories Behind the Script: Patrick's Story

Just recently, I got to see my sweet friend Danielle and it made me realize that I never got to share her little's story! A few months back we had the pleasure of celebrating little Patrick's Baptism with him and let me tell you, this kid is just the cutest (still is and growing every day!)! He was straight chilling throughout the ceremony and did not seem bothered by being fully dunked in the pool of water - always a good thing when it comes to baptisms, right?

I'm not a fan of things just for things sake, so I decided to letter this sweet baptism prayer for Patrick as a reminder of this special day in his life. I'm only a little obsessed with how it turned out and his parents were equally thrilled.

baptism prayer

Congratulations Patrick and the Hayes family! We were so grateful to be part of this joyous moment in your family's life!

Stories Behind the Script: Janelle and Roberto's Story

Last December my sweet cousin Janelle got married to her partner in crime, Roberto. The ceremony was in a beautiful church in downtown Tampa and the reception was perfectly rustic in an outdoor covered barn space. Simple and sweet - my favorite!

I was thrilled when Janelle reached out to me about addressing her wedding envelopes. Not only did the turquoise color go perfectly with the invitations she had picked out from Wedding Paper Divas, but Emily and Thomas from The Ganeys captured the suite beautifully!

Janelle and Roberto's Wedding Invitations
janelle and roberto bridesmaids
janelle and roberto church
janelle and roberto reception
Janelle and Roberto Bride and Groom

To top it all off, these two are expecting a little one for their one year anniversary!! Congratulations Janelle and Roberto! :) I couldn't be happier for you two!

Stories Behind the Script: Will's Story

Vows are powerful aren't there? They're a promise and a commitment spoken out loud to a person in front of your closest friends and family. And whether or not you choose to write your own, those words hold so much power because they mark the why behind a lifetime adventure.

So what comes after the vows? Do you revisit them regularly? Check in with one another? How do you hold onto your marriage why?

Will and Lizzie met in the Fall of 2012. Lizzie remembers the first time they shook hands. Will, not so much... ;)

It was a moment a few days later when they got lost in conversation on a camp paddle boat that Will remembers vividly and one that still sticks with him.

In October of 2014, he asked Lizzie to marry him and less than a year later they officially became the Moyers.

Most couples might have stopped at the vows, but Will and Lizzie took it one step further - they created a marriage manifesto. A document that would remind them daily of their commitment to marriage, family and community.

Shortly after getting married, Lizzie introduced Will to Brené Brown's book Daring Greatly.

On a side note: If you haven't heard of Brené you should TOTALLY go check out her work. It's amazing.

This book and their relationship and commitment to Jesus set the stage for the manifesto, a three page document that they work shopped together to became a mission statement for their marriage.

Bren é  Brown's book  Daring Greatly  and their relationship and commitment to Jesus set the stage for the manifesto, a three page document that they work shopped together to became a mission statement for their marriage.

Brené Brown's book Daring Greatly and their relationship and commitment to Jesus set the stage for the manifesto, a three page document that they work shopped together to became a mission statement for their marriage.

For their two year anniversary, Will surprised Lizzie with a written copy of the manifesto. It now hangs in their home as a reminder of the commitment to the three most important things in their life.

My Story Behind the Script: My Journey with Infertility

It's been several months and countless rounds of doctor's appointments since we found out we were the 1 in 8. It still seems surreal most days and I still have a hard time talking about it (cue all the tears). But a little over a month ago a friend connected me with a wonderful, loving community of women who are all struggling on different parts of this same journey and that connection has made all the difference. This community made me realize that there was an opportunity in this season of struggle to help others, but in order to do that, I had to be willing to share my story so here it is.

Last summer, Ory and I decided that we were ready to grow our family. Little did we know that almost 11 months later it would still be just us and our two dogs. But we were some of the lucky ones.

Yeah, I said lucky, which is crazy right? To talk about infertility as something to be lucky about.

We discovered this was going to be hard for us early on thanks to some intuition and confirmation from our lab results. Somehow, I found comfort in knowing where we stood.

And y'all I don't talk about God very often, but He honestly works in some of the most mysterious ways. In early February (#firstavailable) we went to our first Reproductive Endocrinologist (or RE for short). You quickly start to learn all the lingo when you live in this world, but that's for another time. During this appointment, we learned that our insurance had started covering infertility treatments as of January 1. Had we gone any sooner, we would have been paying out of pocket like so many couples who struggle with infertility. Hearing this silver lining felt like a blessing.

Even in the what feels like the darkest of times, there is always a silver lining.

And here's the thing - I'm not going to pretend like this journey hasn't been hard. That it hasn't been a complete emotional roller coaster because it definitely has. Seriously, cue all of the tears.

give ourselves grace

But despite all that, I know I am exactly where I need to be and that's what keeps me putting one foot in front of the other on the days when it gets hard. I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason and that finding a community who understands you can be one of the best things you do for yourself in this journey.

One of the biggest challenges with facing infertility is that so many of us don't talk about it, which means this path can be so lonely. For me, it's been a combination of guilt, shame, not wanting to admit that this is all real. And FEAR. Fear that I would jinx myself. That others would judge me. That struggling with this would somehow hurt my job. Seriously y'all, the things we tell ourselves...

It is in time like these that we need to be most kind to ourselves and give ourselves grace.

Finding a community has helped me become more brave. It helped me face my fears. It provided a safe space to share my feelings and most importantly, it affirmed that I was indeed not alone

community together quote

Perhaps you're wondering what prompted me to share my story now. Well, one of the things we promised each other in our community is that we would wear these Give Grace tattoos (which are part of the Give Grace Campaign) as a means of creating conversation and spreading awareness during National Infertility Awareness Week (Apr. 23 - 29). And since we are almost at our one year anniversary of trying to grow our family these things things aligning felt like a sign that it was time.

The Give Grace Campaign is providing monetary support to couples to help them pursue IVF or adoption, who are otherwise can't afford it.

The Give Grace Campaign is providing monetary support to couples to help them pursue IVF or adoption, who are otherwise can't afford it.

So where does this leave us and what can you do to help?

  • Support the Give Grace Campaign or my  friend Nikki's collaboration with Scarlet & GoldStill Wander Prints. Each of these efforts supports a small business owner, helps spread awareness about this important topic and most importantly, helps couples achieve their dream of becoming parents.
  • Reach out to a friend that you know who has struggled with infertility - check in with them and be willing to listen. Active listening has become such an antiquated practice in our daily lives with all of our distractions, but it's still one of the most powerful gifts we can give one another.
  • Share your story. Even if it's just with family and friends. Putting your story out there can be such a cathartic and important release in this journey.

And if you or someone you know is facing this journey alone, send me a message (mabellecalligraphy@gmail.com). I would love to connect you with this community of women that has helped me find peace and patience in this otherwise difficult journey.

Stories Behind the Script: Yeleny's Story

Honestly, one of my favorite things about what I do is getting to play a small part in a couple's story - whether it's through lettering the envelopes for the wedding at the beginning of a marriage or helping a couple celebrate a milestone in their lives together. It's truly such a special gift!

keith urban lyric quote prints

On occasion when I'm working with a client, I just know there's a story waiting to be told so when Yeleny told me that the prints I had lettered for her corresponded to songs from their wedding, I just had to learn more!

Enjoy this sneak peak into Yeleny and Chad's love story - a classic ode to the best friend turned life partner :)

What's your love story?
Chad and I first met in high school and became best friends, as he fell in love with me I fell in love with some one else. We remained friends after high school and while the other guy and I were in a questionable relationship, Chad became my knight in shining armor and rescued me from the bad relationship. We began dating in 2005, got engaged in 2009, and got married in 2010. 

What is the significance of the songs you chose to have lettered?
Chad won me over by serenading me with Making Memories of Us by Keith Urban in his truck one night on one of our first dates. The lyrics made me fall in love with him so hard because I knew how much he loved me already. He's continued to show me that love just like the very first date, so that song became "our" song. The second song Only You Can Love Me This Way was used as our processional song with a lot of meaning for both of us since it made us remember the period of being in a long distance relationship and other moments where we were happy to have each other. 

making memories of us custom quote print

What advice would you give to engaged couples when deciding on which songs to use as part of their wedding day?
Choosing songs for the big day is difficult, but what I focused on was choosing songs that had a special meaning throughout our relationship and would allow us to relive special moments all over again. You want songs that no matter where you are during the big day you will look at each other and smile and be in total bliss that you have are now husband and wife. 

How cute is the gallery wall Yeleny created to display pictures from their engagement, wedding and 5 year anniversary!?

How cute is the gallery wall Yeleny created to display pictures from their engagement, wedding and 5 year anniversary!?

So I don't know about y'all but this totally just took me through a trip down memory lane. When we got married my husband and I danced to L.O.V.E. by Michael Bublé. The song itself didn't hold any special significance for us a couple, but it just felt right and what made it even more special is that my siblings had gifted us some dance lessons to choreograph a little something alongside the song to make our day even more memorable and to give us reasons to have regular date nights leading up to it! If you're looking for a cute and thoughtful gift, dance lessons are amazing!

So tell me, if you've gotten married, which songs did you choose to dance to or walk down the aisle and why?

<3
Michelle